One of the largest state-run banks in India, SBI, on Friday announced that the bank is looking to sell a percentage of its stake in the insurance subsidiaries and is currently in talks with the respective ventures.
During a press conference in Mumbai, SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya told reporters that the have initiated discussions with the joint venture partners. The Chairperson said, “Yes, we have started talks with all our insurance joint venture partners. All our partners are very keen to dial up and certain amount of action has also started.“
Bhattacharya also said that not only the venture partners, but third party investors are also interested in buying a stake in the SBI’s insurance ventures. The bank has partnered with the BNP Paribas Cardif to establish a life insurance subsidiary, in which 74 percent stake will belong to the bank and the remaining 26 percent to the partner.
However, on the flip side, SBI also reported a hike of 30.24 percent in the profit to Rs. 2,910 crores in December, last year compared to Rs. 2,234 in the same quarter earlier.
SBI announced that the non-performing assets also dropped down to 4.9 percent in December 2014, which was previously 5.73 percent a year earlier. Reports stated that the gross NPAs declined from Rs 67,799 to 61,991 this year.
Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairman of the bank, told reporters, “I am very loath to say that the pain is over. Let’s wait for a quarter or two before we can say it is surely over. Slippages have come from iron & steel, trade and services, textiles and some amount of power.’’
However, by not taking the credit alone, but respecting the hard work of bank employees, Bhattacharya said that this wouldn’t have been possible without the hardworking employees in our banks spread across the entire country.